Many ask why we emphasize Biblical festivals. In order to answer that question, we must consider what the festivals are and what is the meaning associated with each. The festivals are outlined in Leviticus and consist of (1) Shabbat, (2) Pesach, Feast of Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits, (3) Shavuot, and (4) Trumpets, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. The celebration of each festival closely identifies us with the God revealed in the Scriptures and testifies that we worship and serve Him.
God created all things in six days and rested on the seventh day. The celebration of Shabbat or the “Sabbath” signifies that we serve the God of creation. Celebration of Shabbat also testifies that we embrace the hope of redemption which, we believe, will be accomplished in seven “days of prophecy (1000 years)”. We believe that the present date is 5947 (5777). Hence, we have little time before the advent of the Shabbat or Messianic millennium.
(2) Pesach, Feast of Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits
Pesach or “Passover” signifies the purchase of redemption. We rehearse that great intervention by God every year in our homes and with a community seder. Passover is the first festival of the Biblical year. It is the festival that remembers the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage and hence the beginning of God’s reign in the midst of His people. In like fashion, it points to individual deliverance and ultimately to universal deliverance when Messiah Jesus takes His Throne in Jerusalem. Every believer can readily identify with Passover. It will be celebrated in the ages to come. Jesus has become our Passover. Associated with Passover and during the week of the Festival of Unleavened Bread is Firstfruits. Firstfruits signifies the resurrection which is the ultimate goal of redemption.
Shavuot or “Pentecost” signifies that God is taking a people for Himself from among the nations. This people has been chosen and sanctified to bring forth God’s purpose in the midst of the nations. The original covenant with Israel at Mt. Sinai was made at this time. The church was initiated on the anniversary of this event.
Read more about this festival in the article: Shavuot
(4) Trumpets, Yom Kippur and Sukkot
The Seventh Month festivals signify the completion of redemption. Trumpets announces the beginning of this period. Yom Kippur signifies final judgment. Sukkot represents God’s New Creation.
Read more about the Fall Festivals in the article: The Seventh Month Festivals
It is not necessary to celebrate the Biblical Festivals to be saved. We are saved by faith in Messiah Jesus. The issue of the festivals has to do with being fruitful now that we are saved. As we celebrate the festivals we rehearse the plan of redemption, which helps us to maintain proper focus on His purpose. It also clearly identifies us as the people associated with the Biblical God. As such, it also identifies us with God’s ancient people Israel.
We pray that as you learn to celebrate the Lord’s festivals, they will have great meaning for you.